By 2024 the low code development market is forecast to reach 53 billion dollars (41 billion pounds), with a compound annual growth rate of 45% during this period. That is serious growth and represents not only a mass adoption of the technology, but a change in market direction from traditional hand-coded apps to more flexible, model-driven constructions.
The concept of low code has been around for a long time. It was first seen in the 60s, with the advent of Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE), then Rapid Application Development (RAD) in the 70s and 80s. More recently, the low code approach has been adopted successfully as a way to simplify and execute business process management (BPM) workflows, and this is where the game has changed.
Meet the new boss
With digital transformation becoming a critical success factor for the majority of modern enterprises, business and IT have become inseparable. This is an overused quote that has been attributed to several influencers but it is a truth worth repeating: “every company is a software company”. Now that every organisation can build and deploy new systems using low code platforms in a matter of weeks, without huge amounts of resources and manpower, the playing field is levelling for smaller, more agile players who can quickly meet customer demand while other larger businesses flounder in the obscuring fog of legacy and old victories.
Low code has become synonymous with fast-moving, innovative organisations that, as a key part of their strategy, try and stay ahead of the customer expectation curve and operate across multiple channels. One of its key benefits is the ability to visually model new processes and then implement them via intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces. This has led to the rise of what is known as the ‘citizen developer’ – a trendy, (relatively) new term where people without a structured software development pedigree can plan, create and deploy applications that are used businesswide.
The end of the road for code?
Where does low code leave traditional developers? Like occupations that are being disrupted by automation, hardened coders will need to integrate and adapt to the low code ecosystem. This exponentially widens the pool of applicants for developer jobs and makes other, softer skills just as important as technical coding knowledge. At Procensol we look for applicants that exhibit warm, ‘people person’ traits, as well as good knowledge of business and management structures in general – not skills and characteristics that you would generally associate with the traditional software developer. Even though the cliche of the young man in the dark room writing out lines and lines of code is overused and over-exaggerated the image has a basis in fact – and is now increasingly an image for the history books.
This isn’t a bad thing – it’s progress. Now that low code is a proven powerful tool for businesses, it’s up to us to learn how to work in tandem with it. Like anything, the opportunities are there (for businesses and individuals) if you look for them.
Steve is Managing Director at Procensol UK, a process-centric solutions provider using low code applications and automation technology. You can reach him at email@example.com.
About the Author
Managing Director, UK and Co-founder
Steve Huckvale is the Managing Director of Procensol UK. He is one of the founding members of Procensol, established in 2008 and has played a major role in establishing the consulting practice in the UK. Under Steve’s leadership the company has steadily grown with a customer base across the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. With over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, Steve has successfully taken the lead role in many high profile projects in the BPM space over a wide spectrum of technologies.